Yet Another Text To Speech program
January 25, 2007 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Oddcast's Text To Speech Demos let you type in words in 14 different languages. Hear thick accents if you enter English or learn how to pronounce that word you always say wrong in Spanish.
posted by daninnj (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck: Audrey's annoyed, Clair is mad, and Crystal wants it.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:16 PM on January 25, 2007


If you move your mouse pointer, she is like a cat looking at cheese. And that's weird when she speaks with a male voice. And when s/he pronounces Jabès.
posted by Listener at 11:41 PM on January 25, 2007


Oh, and it thinks Koreans can pronounce a Z sound. Wrong. Should be a DJ sound.
posted by Listener at 11:43 PM on January 25, 2007


ドーアはあかっぽい

not bad for the Japanese voices.

I pretty much think machine translation is going to be the next internet-like "big thing" in technology/innovation.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:51 PM on January 25, 2007


間もなく、ドーアが締まり生ます。ご注意ください

(couldn't resist)
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:54 PM on January 25, 2007


It would be nice if they didn't use a mute woman.
posted by Poagao at 12:16 AM on January 26, 2007


I am strangely aroused.
posted by undule at 12:42 AM on January 26, 2007


The chilean voice is pretty close, actually, though they didn't record "huevón", so it has no real world applications.
posted by signal at 1:26 AM on January 26, 2007


They have "Chilean" but only Mandarin and no Cantonese? Jeez
posted by rxrfrx at 3:44 AM on January 26, 2007


I pretty much think machine translation is going to be the next internet-like "big thing" in technology/innovation.

Yeah, people were saying that in the early 50s. Recognizing words and parsing sentences isn't hard, but figuring out things like what the author's trying to say is a bitch and a half.

And it turns out you can't translate well if you don't know what the author's trying to say. There's a lot of examples that linguists throw around, but my favorite is boku wa unagi da, which can mean "Me, I'm an eel" in Japanese but is also a perfectly good way of ordering eel in a restaurant. If you don't understand the intent behind it, you can't tell how to translate it. And computers, so far, are lousy at understanding intent.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:04 AM on January 26, 2007


I pretty much think machine translation is going to be the next internet-like "big thing" in technology/innovation.

What nebulawindphone said. I am quite confident this is not going to happen in my lifetime, if by "machine translation" you mean translation equivalent to what human translators produce. If you mean "crappy half-assed versions that an ape with a dictionary could produce," we've already got that.
posted by languagehat at 5:58 AM on January 26, 2007


Hell, I forgot what I was originally going to say: [this is good]!
posted by languagehat at 5:58 AM on January 26, 2007


If you don't understand the intent behind it, you can't tell how to translate it. And computers, so far, are lousy at understanding intent.

Yes, but clearly there will be plenty of situations where the context is already present. To take your eel example, if you said boku wa unagi da over the phone to an acquaintance in the middle of a conversation about MMORPGs, they might well be confused. Approximate computer translations for things like directions will doubtless become more common, because the machine doesn't need to figure it all out since there are still two humans at either end. As long as the interlocutors steer clear of richly idiomatic flourishes, I imagine it would make a pretty workable (although less accurate) substitute for human intermediaries.
In stuff like game localisation, you could probably get away with running the less text-dependent ones through a sophisticated auto-translator, then have a native speaker do a quick edit to naturalise it, deducing any textual gaps from the game's context. I've no doubt it will have lots of powerful applications.
posted by RokkitNite at 6:17 AM on January 26, 2007


Damn. Apparently there is a limit. I can't do it anymore. :(
Fun while it lasted, though.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:54 AM on January 26, 2007


Yes PLEASE! I love text-to-speech. I have ever since owning the TI-99a with "voice modulator."

I've also been using the Text-to-Speech demo that's been up in AT&T labs website for years. This version lets you DOWNLOAD the spoken results, which leads to endless hours of fun.

Example? Before my girlfriend became my wife, I made an extraordinarily complex scavenger hunt for her birthday (which was also our six month dating anniversary). It began with this introductory mission briefing, recorded using these AT&T voices. The recording itself was one of my first forays into digital recording, and I had a blast making this. It was hidden on a CD under her bed. She was instructed to be in her room at 1:00 pm and wait for a phone call. I had a stranger call her and say only, "Look under your bed." She put the CD in, and I'm fairly certain that hearing the synthetic digital British accent giving her instructions was far more entertaining than it would have been if I'd just faked the accent myself. I LOVE text-to-speech.
posted by Milkman Dan at 7:01 AM on January 26, 2007


The Oddcast lady's eyes go down too low... she looks creepy.
posted by GuyZero at 8:14 AM on January 26, 2007


Having Jorge in Castillian say !Me cago en la leche! ( I know it's puerile, so what!) is hilarious. I swear it's the actor who does the audio guides to the Prado, with a beautifully formal accent and intonation saying rude things.

Oh Thank God it's Friday and this week is over. Highly entertaining...
posted by Wilder at 9:14 AM on January 26, 2007


CitrusFreak12 - just delete your cookies from oddcast.com and vhost.oddcast.com, and you'll be allowed back in.
posted by cb at 4:17 PM on January 26, 2007


The Clair voice closely approaches Diane Rhem.
posted by odinsdream at 6:36 PM on January 26, 2007


Milkman Dan: One word: Awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 6:59 PM on January 26, 2007


Pierre, the French Canadian, didn't pronounce "chalice" properly, but "tabernacle" was spot-on.

Awesome, nonetheless.
posted by maudlin at 5:58 AM on January 27, 2007


CitrusFreak12 - just delete your cookies from oddcast.com and vhost.oddcast.com, and you'll be allowed back in.

Oh yeah, d'oh. Good idea. Thanks.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:44 PM on January 27, 2007


Machine translation is a sorry, sorry joke, and I challenge one and all to prove me wrong.
posted by signal at 1:56 PM on January 27, 2007


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